The objective: Demonstrating the benefits of Chromecast streaming
TV isn’t what it was a decade ago — or even two years ago. Fewer people tune in to shows when they are broadcast live, but people are watching more video content overall, and they’re doing so digitally.1 Whether on mobile screens or on televisions, consumers want to be able to watch digital video anytime, and streaming devices like Google Chromecast are delivering.
Chromecast is a media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV. With partners like HBO, Comedy Central and Hulu, it allows people to watch a wide array of content, anytime, without requiring a cable or satellite hookup. What makes Chromecast stand apart from other streaming devices is its casting feature. Through an app on their smartphones, people can "cast" digital content to the best screen and speakers in the house with a push of a button, no remote needed.2
As appealing as this feature is to people who want quick access to digital video, awareness of Chromecast in general, and casting in particular, was low. The Chromecast marketing team needed to educate people on this new streaming device and the benefits of casting. They partnered with Media Lab, Google’s in-house team that works with Essence Digital to develop creative and plan, buy and execute media to generate awareness for Google brands.
The idea: Leveraging FOMO with data signals
Every morning people chat at their desks at work or on social media, discussing or catching up on the games and shows they watched the night before. These watercooler conversations are staples of the office environment, and with their spoiler alerts and inside baseball references comes a fear of missing out, also known as FOMO.
The Media Lab team wanted to use the power of FOMO to show how Chromecast makes it easy to stay current for the morning catch up. By accessing data and insights about what people were actually watching, the team could learn which shows and conversations were trending — and then launch creative that alluded to plot points in real time.
The creation: Uncovering data and consumer insights
Before they could create FOMO, the team needed data to learn what people were afraid of missing. Media Lab used publicly available search data in Google Trends to gain insights on the top search queries on Google and YouTube for some of the spring season’s most popular shows. Ads are most effective when they tell a story and draw people in, and this data revealed which shows would most likely engage audiences — and create FOMO.
By using Google Trends, you can discover new insights about your target audience. We might expect a 26-year-old woman living in Austin to care about a new show on Comedy Central, but search data confirms it. Google Trends reveals how many people are searching for a show, and when. Knowing behaviors and interests, we can build better ads, informed by what people want to see. This helped us build better ads for Chromecast, informed by what people wanted to see.
The execution: Predicting FOMO ahead of time
Armed with a list of the shows people searched for the most, Media Lab narrowed the list further. They focused on shows available to watch on Chromecast, with upcoming premieres and with an audience similar to Chromecast’s young, tech-friendly target audience. A few shows rose to the top, among them The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Media Lab worked with Comedy Central and other brand owners to develop creative that would captivate this audience. These shows became the canvas on which the team could draw out moments to replicate watercooler conversations and generate FOMO.
To heighten the fear of missing out, Media Lab scheduled the campaign around key moments they anticipated would generate increased conversation around the shows. They looked at season premiere and broadcast dates, and developed a strategic schedule for delivering the creative:
- Catching up — Monday mornings
- Weekend binge — Friday through Sunday evenings
- Cultural moments — During weeks of the presidential primary debates
Experience the delivery of FOMO
Over the course of the week, ads were delivered in exactly the right moment, with the right message to tap into the emotions of users and create FOMO moments. Every weekend during the campaign, likely fans of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah saw the ad below, reminding them to catch up on their favorite political commentary with Chromecast:
FOMO in action
Every piece of creative of the campaign introduced FOMO messaging in a 320x50 mobile ad unit, enticing the user to expand the creative. Once expanded, messaging and images reminded users about the moments they’ve been missing out on, and provided them with an easy way to catch up: with Chromecast.
Over the course of the FOMO campaign, a series of Chromecast ads featuring different shows were delivered to people with different interests and apps. Every one carried its own message but a similar theme: With Chromecast, you never have to be afraid of missing out.
The technology: Reaching the right audience with DoubleClick Bid Manager
With a strategic schedule created, the team needed the right technology to put it into action. Media Lab turned to DoubleClick’s suite of integrated programmatic, creative and analytic solutions to easily build and traffic engaging creative for all FOMO moments. To reach the right audience, DoubleClick Bid Manager allowed the team to deliver ads by day of the week and time of day, all the while offering a precise way to identify and reach specific audiences. They could plan ahead and, thanks to the openness of Bid Manager, reach the right audience using both first and third party data.
Media Lab used a data vendor to build out a list of attributes aligned with their target audience for Chromecast. The people they wanted to reach were either in-market for cable TV or cord cutters, watching most of their television at night, and tended to stay in over the weekends. Using Bid Manager as their buying platform, the team could narrow their focus to reach just the people who had wifi on their phones, and with app download data, the team could find and reach people with behaviors similar to current Chromecast owners.
To refine their strategy even further, Media Lab created a unique approach for each show being promoted, tailored to a user’s related interests. For example, they showed Daily Show ads to people who were interested in TV comedies and had comedy apps. Other ads were served to people based on genre preferences and app categories that aligned with each show. App detection paired with Bid Manager enabled this precise, data-informed segmentation, helping to ensure the campaigns reached the right people, at the right time, with a relevant message.
The results: Audiences engaged at the right moments
To raise brand awareness and lift intent to buy, the FOMO campaign needed to reach and engage the people most likely to purchase Chromecast. The reporting capabilities in DoubleClick Campaign Manager enabled Media Lab to measure user engagement with the ads for each audience, helping the team understand the creative and message that resonated most. As seen above, the banners first appeared on mobile screens as small bars, requiring a tap to expand. The FOMO ads had expansion rates three times as high as the industry benchmark, and once opened 5% more people interacted with them.
First and third party data informed the campaign from the beginning, guiding the creative and adding precision to Bid Manager’s audience targeting. A deep understanding of user insights and preferences allowed the team to use DoubleClick to deliver the right ad at the right moment with the right message. People engaged with the ads at higher rates because they were relevant and timely, addressing the fear of missing out in the moments FOMO transpired.
 Google internal data
higher expansion rate than industry benchmark, and a 5% better interaction rate3
Conclusion: Reach people with data-informed creative
To be engaging, ads have to be relevant, built around the needs and interests of their audience. This begins and ends with data: insights about what people care about, when they care about it, and data points to ensure the right creative reaches the right people at the right time, on the right device.
Gathering the insights is critical, but to be useful, data depends on powerful tools. DoubleClick Bid Manager allowed Chromecast to reach users with specific messages. They used data to develop informed creative that would spark the interest (and FOMO) of their target demographic. Delivering creative during key cultural moments, certain days of the week and short windows of time also ensured ads were always relevant.
We've always had a good picture of our target market, but the nuggets of data and insights uncovered during this campaign clarified it. Reaching the right audience in the right moment is critical, and we saw insights do more than refine targeting. This data gave us a clearer view of our Chromecast audience, which strengthened our marketing campaigns. We can use these insights as a foundation for all of our future ad buys.